A 21 year-old University of Maryland student is facing serious felony charges, including DUI manslaughter, DUI causing serious bodily injury, and leaving the scene of an accident causing death.
It is alleged that the college student, who was home for winter break, was returning to his parents’ house after spending the night at a Miami Beach nightclub when he struck two bicyclists near Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. One of the bicyclists died, the other was severely injured. The accused then left the scene, though he returned about a half hour later and gave a statement to police.
When the accused returned to the scene, he allegedly confessed that he had hit the bicyclists and fled. The accused stated that he was looking at his iPhone when his car drifted into the bike lane and struck the two cyclists.
Police described the accused as having bloodshot, watery eyes, and an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. He was also crying hysterically.
No word from police as to whether a blood sample was taken from the accused.
DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years in the State of Florida. There is a four-year mandatory minimum sentence that the court must impose unless waived by the State Attorney’s Office.
As well, leaving the scene of an accident causing death carries a maximum of 30 years, but a minimum of four. This is up from a minimum of two. The legislature changed the law in 2014.
Mandatory minimums cannot be “stacked,” that is - mandatory sentences must be served concurrently (at the same time) not consecutively (one after the other).
Eric Matheny is a Miami DUI Manslaughter Lawyer and Broward DUI Manslaughter Lawyer.